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things to do

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things to do

I am coming to Chicago late June early July with 2 teenage girls who are very interested in fashion. Can you suggest what to see or do. We are staying on Magnificant Mile. Thanks

Chicago, IL
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1. Re: things to do

A very unique fashion experience would be to take them to the apparel center (just west of and attached by skywalk to the merchandise mart), ignore the signs that say "not open to the public", and take elevator up to the showroom floors. Many showrooms have signs in the window saying "samples for sale", others you can just walk in and ask if they are selling samples. You can get wholesale to way below wholesale prices on designer, trendy, and high end clothing, they usually let you try things on in a back office or storage space). be prepared to pay with cash or check, good idea to bring your own shopping bags. If there is a market going on, the will not want anyone shopping who is not a retail buyer--and many showrooms are closed when market not on, but I have never gone there when I didn't pick up some wonderful bargain. Go on a weekday, not too late in the day. Good luck!

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2. Re: things to do

Hi Iowa,

The Mag Mile has no shortage of fashionable stores to check out, as I'm sure you already know. 900 N. Michigan has Bloomingdales and lots more; a block South on Michigan will take you to Water Tower Place. A block West of Bloomie's will take you to Oak Street, home of Jil Sander, Hermes, and plenty of other trendy boutiques. Then turn onto Rush Street and find a ton of others, including boutique department store, Barney's.

For a different perspective, you might want to cab across town to the Harold Washington Library (just a stone's throw from the Sears Tower) and check out the Chicago Historical Society's Teen Chicago exhibit, as it traces the impact of teens on the city (and vice versa) over the past century. It could give your teens a broader view of how fashion throughout the generations has played a part in the coming-of-age process.

The Harold Washington Library is located at 400 South State Street. Hours: M-Th, 9-7; F&S, 9-5; Su 1-5. Admission is free.

Safe travels,



Kansas City, Mo.
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3. Re: things to do

Don't forget to check out Marshall Field's flagship store on State Street, (not the water tower 'mall' store) between Randolf and Washington. This is truly one of the most beautiful and largest department stores in the world. The womens shoe department alone is nearly one floor.

When visiting Chicago, as I often do, I find myself spending more time in Field's shopping and having lunch in their exquisite Walnut Room. A throw-back to when lunch was a civilized affair. The 'vertical malls' on Michigan Ave. can't compare to this beautiful, legendary, Chicago institution.

Also, on State Street a block south is Carson's another large and grand department store often with better prices and sales than Field's.

In my mind, if you haven't seen Marshall Field's on State Street, you really haven't seen Chicago. Don't miss it!

Rensselaer, Indiana
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4. Re: things to do

Iowa, glad you will be visiting your neighbors. Hope you have a wonderful time here!

When you say your girls are interested in fashion, are we talking a shopping spree--or as a potential career choice? If the latter, you might want to check out the School of the Art Institute for some information.

Another couple of websites to check are: Chicago Fashion Foundation and Chicago Fashionista. Both have events calendars and the Chicago Fashionista has info of where the boutiques are located in the various neighborhoods.

For a custom handbag, maybe they'd be interested in 1154 Lill on N. Halsted.

Lastly, I also that Bucktown-Wicker Park might be just the place your girls will find interesting. Go to the Urban Style website and do a search for those neighborhoods.

P.S. I'm going to make another suggestion that I think you and your girls will enjoy. If you are here on Monday, June 27, at the Taste of Chicago, they are having Broadway in Chicago at the bandshell (excerpts of current shows running in Chicago). Cost: free. (I thought you'd like that, Mom, after spending the $$$ on fashion!) Check out the City of Chicago's website for additional information on that event.